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Nomos - Set you free
NOMOS "Set You Free" GRACD230

Bursting into life from the opening track "The Scalloway Lasses" (with a tight pairing of fiddle and concertina - from Vince Milne and Niall Vallely - augmented by bodhran, bass and guitar) and what follows on the rest of this CD does not disappoint.

If you like fine Irish music and songs, this album is essential for your collection. This is the second album from the five piece Nomos and its excellent production and arrangements make this a joy to listen to. The playing is strong, assured, yet never overstated. There are strong vocals from John Spillane in the next track, the self-composed "I'm going to Set You Free" with a hypnotic backing. John's song-writing has the knack of being new, yet sounding as if it comes from the tradition - especially with the "Poor Weary Wanderer" with its sparse and extremely effective arrangement. "Down the Lane" is a gentle swinging concertina-led instrumental and is contrasted by the lively arrangement of "Brendan's Reels" which also highlights the fiddle/concertina partnership to its best advantage.

The album finishes with "Suile Shuibhne" which almost has a "left bank of Paris" feel to it as it leads into a jazzier gentle swing arrangement. Mention should be made of Frank Torpey's excellent bodhran playing and Gerry McKee's bouzouki throughout the whole album - underpinning the whole sound, driving, yet never oppressive. Buy it - you won't be disappointed!

John F. Weatherby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 26 of The Living Tradition magazine.